It is with profound respect and admiration I present to you words written by my friend and mentor, Elizabeth Jeffries. Elizabeth is the most determined person I know who will jump any hurdle with Godly vim and vigor. Fear is not in her vocabulary.
One of many cases in point: Not too long ago Elizabeth spent ninety days in Florence, Italy simply because it was on her bucket list. (For more fun twists on bucket lists, click here.) John and I benefitted from her adventure as that particular year we took a trip to Italy which happened to end in Florence. Elizabeth most graciously invited us to stay over with her three more nights. Did she ever show us the town! (We are pictured above in a charming little church in Florence, Italy. Elizabeth had just delivered a lovely, challenging talk to students where missionaries she knows minister. Note below Elizabeth wrote a book about her Italian adventure!!!)
In Elizabeth’s post, you’ll also see her dear Summit Sisters, many of whom I’m blessed to know. These are some serious, Godly women who gather to glean from God’s Word. They include: Liz Curtis Higgs, Naomi Rhode, Gail Wenos, Glenna Salsbury and Elizabeth.
Please enjoy Elizabeth’s fun discovery along with its’ many benefits (and ***don’t forget to comment at the end to be in a drawing for Rob Morgan’s book, Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories!!!***)
In the past sixteen annual retreats with my four Summit Sisters, we have sung old Gospel hymns as part of our study weekend. Ok, THEY sang hymns while I tried to follow along and mouth some of the words that I knew not, even if some of the melodies were familiar.
My earlier Catholic tradition had some beautiful songs, but most of the old Gospel hymns were foreign to me. I envied the joyful expressions of my Sisters when they belted out the words, their beautiful faces almost other-worldly as they praised our Lord through these old hymns. I oftentimes felt a bit left out. So finally, this year at our January retreat, I decided I would learn some of these old hymns too. Our teacher, Glenna Salsbury, suggested I order Robert Morgan’s book, Then Sings My Soul and not only learn the hymns, but the story behind them. In my do-it-now style, I immediately went on line and ordered the book! By the time I arrived back in Louisville, the book was waiting for me. Its’ beautiful parchment pages called to me as I thumbed through and, oh my heavens, I actually recognized some of the hymns! Maybe I wasn’t so far out of the Christian music world as I thought!!??
Since that day in early January, I’ve created a morning routine I follow wherever I am in my travels. I gather up my Bible, my iPad, the Then Sings my Soul book, and a highlighter. I open the book, read the story of who wrote the song and the circumstances under which it was written, log onto You Tube, find the hymn and do my darndest to sing along with the likes of Carrie Underwood, Beverly Shea or the Gaithers. Ok, Lord, you gave me this voice, so ignore that I’m off key and can’t read sheet music too well. Please just listen to me praise you and feel my love for you and the joy of worshipping this way!
I’m at page 64 now and I can’t wait to meet Jesus this way every day. Several mornings my hubby walked in while I was belting out a joyful praise and he joined me! Oh how sweet that was. Thank you Lord!
If you haven’t consciously worshipped this way, perhaps these ideas will enliven your spirit as they have mine. Here’s my take away from this book, this process, this amazing way to worship our Lord…
- I’m worshipping from the depths of my soul in a way I’ve never experienced before. Worship music touches every fiber of my being and brings out feelings and visions of God in new and exciting ways. I hear His voice and see His face! He really, really is alive!
- Since many of the hymns are actually from Psalms and other words of Scripture, I’m studying and learning too.
- I’m learning about composers and when and why they wrote these words. I now know who some of the greats are: people like Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby, and Charles Wesley are my new friends.
- Since I listen to the music and sing the hymn several times in my morning worship, the words and music stay with me all day. I find I fall asleep singing in my head with a smile on my face.
- If I have an early flight, I may do this on the plane with ear phones. I feel my seat mate glancing out of the corner of his eye. No one has asked anything yet and only the Lord knows how this has impacted them…or not. Hmmm! Maybe that person is humming a different tune that day!
- I’m so much more conscious of Jesus throughout the day. I hope I’m more attentive to others as the words of the morning hymn twirl through my brain. I think I am living more intentionally. I sure smile and laugh a lot more.
- Jesus is more alive to me than ever. His Amazing Grace really is amazing and I have His Blessed Assurance of salvation that I experience as I walk In the Garden with Him. Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus as I strive to live out, minute by minute, How Great Thou Art! Indeed, Lord! All is Well With My Soul!
Thank you for these great ideas, Elizabeth!!! Blessings to you and your sweet hubby Stephen!!! I look forward to seeing you soon! Starbucks??? —–
Elizabeth Jeffries is oftentimes referred to as a marketplace minister! She is committed to bringing Biblical principles to people in businesses, healthcare organizations and professional associations. With God’s Word as her foundation, she presents keynote speeches, conducts learning seminars and retreats, and coaches business leaders in the way of a servant-leader.
—– ***Please offer your comments and you will be entered to win a FREE COPY of Then Sings My Soul!***
(Next week look forward to one more idea to implement before Lent ends or perhaps post Easter!!! Plus yet ANOTHER free book giveaway!!!)
‘Til next time!